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Do Refugee Students Affect the Academic Achievement of Peers? Evidence from a Large Urban School District

Policy debate on refugee resettlement focuses on perceived adverse effects on local communities, with sparse credible evidence to ascertain its impact. This paper examines whether attending school with refugees affects the academic outcomes of non-refugee students. Leveraging variation in the share of refugees within schools and across grades, I find that increasing the share of grade-level refugees by 1 pp results in a 0.01 sd increase in average math scores. While I find no effect on average English Language Arts scores, using nonlinear-in-means specifications I estimate negative spillovers in ELA performance among low-achieving students and positive spillovers among high-achieving students.

Keywords
Peer effects, refugees, refugee resettlement, English learners
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/p6bc-1q62

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Morales, Camila . (). Do Refugee Students Affect the Academic Achievement of Peers? Evidence from a Large Urban School District. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-495). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/p6bc-1q62

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